How to Replace the Brake Pads on a 1987 Ford Ranger

Your 1987 Ford Ranger uses brake pads for the front wheels because the clamping force of the brake caliper system is far superior to the brake drum system. The pads sit inside of a caliper mechanism that forces them against a disc, called a "brake rotor," when you press on the brake pedal. Over time these pads wear down. The brake pads on your Ford Ranger should be more than one-eighth-inch thick. If they're not, then you'll need to replace them. Replacement pads can be purchased from most auto-parts stores.

Tools Used: Impact wrench, Socket wrench, Jack, Jack stands, Socket set, Replacement brake pads, C-clamp

Replace Brake Pads

Lift up the Ford Ranger's front using a floor jack.

Place jack stands under the frame in the front of the vehicle and lower the Ranger onto the stands.

Remove the lug nuts on the front wheels with an impact wrench.

Pull the wheels off the wheel-hub assembly.

Place a C-clamp over the caliper so that the screw end of the clamp is pressing against the outboard brake pad.

Tighten the C-clamp until you can no longer tighten the clamp. There is a piston inside the caliper that needs to be manually retracted before the new pads will fit into the caliper bracket.

Loosen the bottom bolt on the back of the caliper. This is the caliper pin bolt.

Swing the caliper assembly up and away from the caliper bracket.

Pull out the old pads and insert the new pads.

Close the caliper and secure it with the pin bolt. The rest of the installation is the reverse of removal.

Tips & Warnings

Pump the brakes several times before driving. This will ensure that you have fully restored brake pressure after changing your Ranger's pads.

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